French -ir verbs are a common verb form that usually follows one of two major conjugation patterns, which shown below. Note that -oir verbs are a distinct French verb pattern from –ir verbs and have their own conjugation pattern.

Regular -IR verbs

In present tense, the -ir verb pattern is this:

drop the -ir and add…
je ____is nous ____issons
tu ____is vous ____issiez
il ____it ils ____issent

Common regular -IR verbs

  • Choisir  je choisis, nous choississons
  • Finir  je finis, nous finissons

Semi-Irregular -IR verbs

There are many “semi” irregular -ir verbs. They follow a different but still recognizable conjugation pattern. The singular side of the chart follows the -RE verb conjugation pattern, and the plural side follows the basic -ER verb pattern.

Below, the asterisk (*) represents the final letter before the -ir ending. This letter gets dropped on the singular side but is used on the plural side.

drop the -*ir and add…
je ____s nous ____*ons
tu ____s vous ____*ez
il ____t ils ____*ent

Common semi-irregular -IR verbs

Sample conjugations for these irregular verbs are given below for context.

  • Dormir → je dors, nous dormons
  • Sortir → je sors, nous sortons
  • Partir → je pars, nous partons
  • Servir → je sers, nous servons
  • Courir → je cours, nous courons

Irregular -IR verbs

Don’t be tempted to apply a regular conjugation pattern to the verbs below. Pay special attention to venir. You will use it often in French.

Venir (and other -enir verbs)
je viens nous venons
tu viens vous venez
il vient ils viennent
Mourir
je meurs nous mourons
tu meurs vous mourez
il meurt ils meurent
Ouvrir (and other -vrir/-frir verbs)
j’ouvre nous ouvrons
tu ouvres vous ouvrez
il ouvre ils ouvrent

Pronunciation of the -IR verb endings

On the left side of the chart (the singular forms), neither the final s nor the final t is pronounced, meaning the last sound you hear pronounced is the i (a long “e” sound in English).

For regular -ir verbs, note that the -ent ending on the ils/elles form is still not pronounced, just as with the other verb patterns. The final sound you hear pronounced is iss (pronounced like the “-ease” in “crease”).

Past tense -IR verbs

Most -ir verbs have a past participle that ends in i. Simply drop the -ir ending and add anin its place.

Je sors (present) → Je suis sorti (past)

Je choisis (present) → J’ai choisi (past)

Irregular past participles for -ir verbs

However, just as with present tense conjugations, certain common -ir verbs have irregular past participles.

Venir → Tu es venu

Mourir → Il est mort

Courir → Vous avez couru

-IR verbs conjugated with être

As you saw above, several common -ir verbs are conjugated with être instead of avoir in order to construct the past tense (passé composé). They are:

  • Venir
  • Partir
  • Sortir
  • Mourir

If this structure doesn’t sound familiar to you, you may need to brush up on how to use the past tense with the être verbs.

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